Monthly Summary - February 2010

   Whilst on the face of it Winter appeared to peak during December and January, it never let go of its hold on us during February and indeed despite no particular extremes, February was colder than December and possibly a bit more like winter throughout the whole month.

   Another significant fact about February (and winter as a whole) and one easily overlooked, is, IT WAS VERY DRY!! -- Will we hear the term 'water shortage' come summer if the next few months also remain dry?

   So how cold was winter 09/10? Well at Met' Office sites established far longer than mine, (eg: Brampton, Drumburgh) it has been their coldest winter on record and early indications show that this winter is the coldest since 1962/63, ("The Worst winter"), for 'this area' - using data from the old Carlisle 14MU RAF station (1961-1990) and Drumburgh (1991).

   In Decemeber and January we had the snow and the very cold temperatures, in February we had neither, just consistently cold and dry weather. February's highest Max temp' at 8.2°c (46.76°f) was 0.7°c down on January's Max' and 2.3°c lower than December's Max'!

   In my short time of recording the Maulds Meaburn weather, this February has come out as both the second coldest and second driest in that time (since June 2007) - but that theme is repeated at sites such as Brampton and Drumburgh.

   February though is a month that tends to be cold and dry and indeed the third driest month recorded by myself was February 2009.

   February started cold with the lowest minimum of -5.6°c (21.9°F) coming on the 1st and we continued with night-time frosts upto the 3rd. The lowest day-time maximum, just 1.0°c, also came on the 3rd. But the weather wasn't settled as areas of low pressure with centers to the NE and West of Eire, brought associated fronts and on the 2nd, the wettest (6.2mm) day of the month.

   But compared to the rest of the country, we missed the worst of the weather, the NE was often caught by snow showers coming down and in from the North sea and even the South east of England had plenty of snow. We actually had 14 'days of falling snow', but many of these were just light showers, only the 21st, 22nd and 24th provided 'days of laying snow'.

   Whilst frontal systems affected other parts of the UK, we settled into an alomost benign period from the 6th/7th. We had a mix of days that ranged from sunny, cloudy or on the 7th, foggy. From the 7th to the end of the month the temperature only got above 5.0°c on four days.

   The 15th saw a break to the benign spell and was a dreary day with 2.0mm of rain as a frontal system moved slowly south.

   From the 16th we enjoyed the best, sunniest, weather of the month, it still remained cold and then on the 21st we had another good blast of winter as the snow returned. An arcing frontal system moved north and we woke up to a carpet of snow and then had heavy snow for the rest of the day. But then the 22nd was a gloriously sunny day.

   The 23/24th saw another frontal system moving north, this was a warm front, but as it collided with the cold air already over us, the rain turned to snow and we woke up to another covering. Come the 26th when the front returned from its sojourn to Scotland, it now met up with warmer air established over us and this time it was rain (5.2mm) that fell.

   The month ended with areas of low pressure dominating our weather, but bizarrely we got caught up in a 'slack area' and hence our weather remained calm and dry. 'Calm' was another feature of the months weather, this is the first month in which the Max' gust (23 Mph) of wind recorded is less than 30 Mph.

   As already mentioned, February was a the driest month that I have ever recorded, with just 24.4mm (0.96 inch), but precipitation was recorded on 23 days. However, seven of those days are marked 'Fe', days of melting frost, when on each occasion 0.2mm was recorded. Four of those days fell consecutively from the 17th-20th. Maybe more significantly there was only 6 'wet days', days of 1.0mm or more - a new record for this site.

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 1.32°c - the Mean Max' was 4.5°c and the Mean Min' -1.86°c.

   We had 18 Air Frosts in the month, which averages very well with the 20 for December and 19 for January. Grass frosts totalled 27, the one 'missing' day been the 26th (+0.7°c), breaking a sequence going back to 9.12.09.


   * February 10 rainfall was 41.3% of the average for 08-09

   * February 10 was 2.68°c colder than 2009 +

   * February saw 5 dry days.



   ICE DAYS                     = 6        

   DAYS OF LAYING SNOW    = 32        (Winter 2008/9 = 16)      (Winter 2007/8 = 3)

   DAYS OF FALLING SNOW   = 39          (Winter 2008/9 = 14)

   AIR FROSTS                  = 57       (Winter 2008/9 = 34)      

   GRASS FROSTS              = 81          (Not recorded for previous winters)


   + Met office figures for February show it as the coldest since 1991 (over the Uk as a whole) - that NW England/N. Wales had a mean temp' of 1.6°c, some 1.9°c colder than the reference period 1971-2000 (1.4°c colder than reference period 1961-90)


JANUARY 2010   

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